Dallas Soccer DFW

Richland boys having a suprising season

Published 2/13/2012 3:26:22 AM by Brent Shirley from dallas

Richland boys soccer coach Matt Snow recognized his team's potential early, even before official practices began.  Snow, who was in the middle of coaching Rebels volleyball at the time, heard that his soccer players hadn't waited for him. They began player-led workouts at the start of the school year, meeting twice a week to tune their skills and develop teamwork.

"It caught someone's eye and he came up to me and told me, 'Your guys have been practicing this whole time,'" Snow said. "And they do everything together. It's a family. They play soccer together all weekend long, at the school, at a park or wherever they can."

While Snow expected great things from this year's Richland squad, many other coaches and teams didn't consider the Rebels a threat.

"There weren't a lot of people who took us seriously," Snow said. "Our team hasn't been great in a while. The mentality was that when a team plays Richland, it's a win. I had to talk to the team about that and it got our guys fired up to prove people wrong."

Six Richland starters are getting their first varsity experience this season. Their inexperience hasn't shown. The Rebels are 15-0-1 and at the top of District 6-5A with a 3-0-1 record. Richland has several leaders. Senior Brandon Salinas was instrumental in getting the players together for their preseason practices.

The Cuadra brothers, Jorge and Christian, have provided the Rebels with a strong offensive attack. Christian, a sophomore, leads the team with 16 goals; junior Jorge is second with 11 goals.

"They are probably the hardest-working kids on the team," Snow said. "They are vocal leaders on the field, and the other players match their effort."

At the start of the year, Richland's youth and low expectations led to upset wins. Now, district opponents are recognizing them as a threat.

"At first, we were under the radar because people didn't expect much from us," Snow said. "That has changed."

On Tuesday, Colleyville Heritage played a defense-heavy game against Richland and gave the Rebels their first tie of the year. Snow expects the rest of his team's games to be just as tough.

"Heritage played us differently than any other team has, packing in their defense to try to keep us from scoring," he said. "We are expecting more of that. Every game from this point out is going to be harder."

 

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